Pamela Cipriano, sixth dean of the School of Nursing and the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing, was elected president of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) at the group’s Council of National Nursing Association Representatives October 6.
Two-term president of the American Nurses Association from 2014 to 2018, and ICN’s first vice president between 2017 and 2021, Cipriano has been a champion of the nursing profession across her more than 40-year career.
“Pam Cipriano is a passionate advocate for the profession of nursing,” said UVA President Jim Ryan, “and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding leader of the International Council of Nurses. This is a fitting honor for Pam, who is a nationally recognized leader and has made innumerable contributions to the field throughout her career.”
"Throughout her career, Pam Cipriano has been such a strong advocate for growing nursing's influence on healthcare policy and leading efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses," said K. Craig Kent, MD, the chief executive officer of UVA Health and UVA's executive vice president for health affairs. "I know she will bring that same focus, passion, and leadership to the International Council of Nurses as president."
The ICN is a federation of more than 130 national nurses’ associations that represent the millions of nurses working worldwide. Operated and led by an international cohort of nurses, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally. Cipriano succeeds Annette Kennedy and will be the ICN’s 29th president when she begins her four-year term Nov. 4, 2021.
“We must be the voice that broadcasts the impact of nurses penetrating the barriers of universal health coverage,” said Cipriano, “reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases, promoting healthy behaviors, and mitigating the detrimental impacts of climate change.”
Acknowledging the worldwide crisis that the global pandemic has created, Cipriano added that “our immediate future requires that we first address the impact of international workforce and economic disruptions, ensuring the stability of ICN and assisting our members to do the same.”
Cipriano is known nationally and internationally as a fierce advocate for quality, growing nursing’s influence on healthcare policy, and leading efforts to advance the role and visibility of nurses. She served as a public-sector adviser in the U.S. delegation to the 69th World Health Assembly in 2016, has been a leader in the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience, and was instrumental in advancing strategies to reduce regulatory burden and revamp electronic documentation to relieve clinicians of unnecessary work. Across her career, she’s focused on improving the safety and efficiency of care by ensuring a healthy, safe, and supportive work environment and encouraging individual healthy behaviors to promote well-being.
Recently, she’s worked on mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of all clinicians by addressing the psychological safety and support for caregivers as well as reducing the stigma of seeking mental healthcare as primary prevention for burnout syndrome and depression. She serves on the board of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation.
An advisor to Times Up Health Care, which aims to eliminate sexual harassment and gender inequality in healthcare, She was ranked No. 2 on Healthcare Global’s list of the Top 10 women in healthcare for 2021, and has been repeatedly ranked among the “Top 100 Most Influential People in (U.S.) Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare magazine. Cipriano also served as the inaugural editor of American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association, for eight years.
In addition to her leadership, academic, and teaching roles, Cipriano is also a seasoned medical center executive, having served for nine years as the chief clinical officer/chief nursing officer at UVA Health during which it first earned a “Magnet” designation in 2006.
She was the Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute of Medicine in 2010-11 and is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and earned its Healthcare Leader Award in 2018.
Cipriano earned a diploma in nursing from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a BSN from American University, a master's in nursing from the University of Washington, and a PhD in executive nursing administration from the University of Utah. She holds certification in Advanced Executive Nursing Administration.